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LANDSCAPE:Assemblyman goes to Japan to talk trade

THE POLITICAL

Van Tran hopes trip will build state's relationship with Japan. Also: A bridge has some peninsula residents fired up.

March 15, 2007|By Alicia Robinson

Sushi.

That's one thing Costa Mesa Assemblyman Van Tran said he's looking forward to during a trip to Japan to meet with high-ranking government officials and discuss trade relations.

Tran was specially invited by the Japanese foreign ministry and left Tuesday for a five-day trip.

"Basically this is a long-standing invitation that's gone on for about a year now," Tran said by phone Tuesday before leaving.

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He planned to meet with Japan's ministers of justice, science and technology, and also with corporate officials from Panasonic, Honda and Kikkoman.

Tran said his goal for the trip is "to basically promote trade and have discussions to build better relations between the people of Japan and California."

Last year California exported about $14 billion of goods to Japan, and the state was the point of entry for $86 billion in Japanese goods to be sold in the U.S.

But Tran's trip isn't all business. He said he planned to visit the peace memorial in Hiroshima this weekend, and to eat sushi.

TROUBLED WATER OVER BRIDGE

Residents' questions about planned major construction on Newport Beach's Bay Island led City Councilman Michael Henn to call a public meeting on March 22 to explain the project.

Bay Island residents plan to rebuild the bridge that leads to the island and the sea wall around it.

Henn said people living on Balboa Peninsula at the bridge's other end are worried about changes to the bridge location and the possible effects to the adjacent beach and fishing area.

Residents will come armed with questions, said Mary Ann Miller, who lives on the peninsula opposite the bridge. She's not sure the correct procedures were followed with the project, and she fears the project might take out some trees and rosebushes on her property.

"This is a big deal," she said. "It's not some little thing where somebody wants to move their dock and somebody won't let them because there's eelgrass."

Henn said there may be some misinformation about the project spreading in the community, and that's why he scheduled the forum.

"The first step is that everyone has as good an understanding of the project as they can," he said.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. March 22 at Newport Harbor Yacht Club, 720 W. Bay Ave., Newport Beach.

BEAN-COUNTING BLOG

Staying true to his accountant roots, Newport Beach Rep. John Campbell this week announced a new venue to talk about federal budget and spending issues: the Green Eye Shade blog.

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